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"Small Business Saturday" Squeezed Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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Tomorrow marks the first annual Small Business Saturday, a "holiday" created by American Express to get shoppers out to Mom-and-Pop stores across the country.

Launched in mid-November, the Facebook page for the event already has more than one million "likes" from both store owners and civic-minded Americans. To get the word out, Amex offered shop owners $100 in Facebook credit to advertise across the site and target would-be local buyers. Amex card members will receive a $25 credit to spend at participating stores.

Kevin Draves, co-owner of the lifestyle boutique Passiflora in Hillsdale, New York, says he signed on for the event after deciding it was legit. "I saw that it was not just for people who take American Express," he says.

He and partner Ken Davis are hoping that consumers will respond with the same enthusiasm they've shown for local food. "I hope people will think of it as a local everything day," says Draves. "But the idea is not to punish big business."

American Express makes the same distinction on its official site. This "movement", as they call it, is not out to bring down any giants or cut into the online sales market.

They describe it as:

A day to come together in support of the small businesses we love.

The shops and restaurants that employ our neighbors and reinvest our money close to home.

 At press time, the Sunday after Thanksgiving remained a shopping holiday hold-out.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.